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Using books to provide speech therapy just makes sense since you can target articulation, phonology, language, and fluency. I have a lot of favorite books and I organize them by theme, season/holiday, sounds, language concepts, etc.. Check out why I love these Valentine's day books!

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose by Lucille Collandro
SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters easily with this repetitive story!  Students can even practice carryover of their sounds (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) targeting language concepts.

LANGUAGE: Target identification and labeling of basic vocabulary found in the print and in the pictures, work on wh-questions and yes/no questions, and practice sequencing and story retell!

The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) easily with this cute story about a little girl that makes Valentine's day cards for her friends!

LANGUAGE: Target vocabulary building with adjectives, adverbs and irregular verbs.  You can also practice answering wh-questions and using inference skills.

A Kiss for Giraffe by Judith Koppens
SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) easily with story about two best friends who want to give each other a kiss.

LANGUAGE: Target prepositions by finding the bird in each picture, work on semantic features (function/description) for common items, answering wh-questions, and  story retell!

If you do not want to have go through the books and make your own lists, I have created an easy cheat sheet for articulation words, language concepts to target, and some basic wh-questions you can ask for each book!  You can grab your free cheat sheet below.




    What are some of your favorite Valentine's day books to incorporate into your speech therapy lessons?  Please share with us below in the comments! Thanks!
    Valentine's day is approaching!  I love incorporating fun holiday activities whenever I can in therapy.  I feel that it breaks up my lesson plans and brings a bit of excitement to the lessons. Check out these ten Valentine's Day-themed freebies I found!

    1. Grab my Valentine's Day Conversational Exchange Mats - This freebie includes two different mats for tracking conversational exchange and a Venn diagram for students to identify things that they have in common!
    2. Valentine's Day Puppets by The Power of Speech- This is a cute craft that easily lends itself to targeting pronouns, vocabulary, social and functional communication and following directions. After students have made their puppets, they can practice giving their puppet different items in the speech room.
    3. Valentine's Day Open-Ended Games by Ms. Gardenia's Speech Room - I love using open-ended games to pull mixed groups together and as a motivator for student behavior.
    4. Valentine's 100 Trials Drill Sheets by Ashley Rossi - This fun packet includes 3 different sheets to color while practicing drills. 
    5. Valentine's Day Vocabulary Book by Speech is Sweet - These free little booklets build vocabulary and targets /k/, /v/, and /l/.
    6. Love Idioms by Speech Paths - This freebie provides multiple idioms and their definitions for an interactive matching game!
    7. Valentine's Day Riddles by Kristine Lamb - Such a perfect way to work on inference!
    8. Cupid Quandry Social Skills by SmartmouthSLP - This set of sticky situations was created with upper elementary and middle school students in mind. 
    9. Valentine Phonology Cards by My Speech Tools - This free pack has cards for final consonant deletion, fronting, gliding, and syllable deletion.
    10.  Picture Chats: Valentine's Day by Katrina Bevin - This cute scene is perfect for carryover articulation, language, and working on fluency techniques. 

    Looking for more ideas?  Check out these blog posts!
    Fab Five Freebies for Valentine's: Part 1 by The Digital SLP - Even more freebies!
    Fab Five Freebies for Valentine's: Part 2 by The Digital SLP- Yah!  More freebies!
    Valentine's Day Free and Paid Resources Roundup by The Dabbling Speechie - Check out this big list!
    30 Valentine's Freebies for Speech Therapy by Speech Sprouts - Love all of these free resources!
    Valentine Speech Therapy Activities by Speech2U - The q-tip blow dart game looks so fun!
    Valentine's Day Easy Crafts by Speech Room News - Love the articulation and language wreaths idea!
    Valentine's Day Activities for Speech and Language by Speech and Language Kids - Contains three fun and functional activities!
    Kiss Me! Valentine's Day Activities by Home Speech Home - Check out all the ways that you can use conversational candy hears in therapy!

    Do you know of any other amazing Valentine's Day activities?  If so, please share in the comments below!

    Want more great tips, tricks, and ideas for successful speech therapy?  Subscribe to our FREE newsletter, or visit us on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook.


    "It's not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make yourself a priority.  
    It's necessary."  -Mandy Hale

    Do you take care of yourself emotionally, spiritually, and physically?  I will admit (with shame) that I do not engage in enough self-care.  All of my time and energy goes to my family, friends, and students. This year, I am making myself a priority.  After all, if we do not take care of ourselves and our needs, we will burn out, face health issues, and have nothing left to give to others. 

    Need some ideas on what you can do to rest and relax?  Here are some of my favorite personal self-care activities!
    • CUDDLE UP WITH MY LOVED ONES - Husband, daughter, and fur babies!
    • ENJOY FAMILY GAME NIGHT.
    • LIGHT CANDLES, PLAY SOOTHING MUSIC and USE MY DIFFUSER with MY FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OILS. 
    • BINGE WATCH MY SHOWS WHILE DRINKING MY FAVORITE DRINKS.
    • BAKING WITH MY DAUGHTER.
    • SPEND EXTRA TIME IN BED WITH A GOOD BOOK.
    • PAMPER MYSELF WITH A SPA DAY WITH or WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER (Sometimes, my daughter hosts spa day at home where she does my hair, makeup, nails, and sometimes gives massages too.) 
    • TAKE A POWER NAP!  (This is one of my favorites since I have suffered from insomnia since I was a child)
    • TAKE A WALK OUTSIDE.
    • DANCE IT OUT! (My childhood best friend and I use to always dance it out when life got to be just 'too much'.  Since she has passed, these days my dance partner is usually my daughter but sometimes I can get the husband to indulge me).
    • TAKE A RELAXING BATH (I am a bath and body products connoisseur.  Seriously!  I love it all - bubble baths, bath bombs, body scrub, body butter, body oil, etc..)
    • MEDITATION
    • SAYING "NO" (I'm still learning to be okay with saying no to my family. If my husband or daughter asks something of me, my first response is to give up on what I have planned to make theirs happen.  Lately, I have been reminding myself that it is okay to put my needs first sometimes).
    Do not forget about engaging in self-care at work too! We spend so much of our week working and it is just as important to take the time to treat ourselves kindly there too!  Check out my work environment self-care hacks below.

    • FIND A PLANNER THAT WORKS FOR YOU INSTEAD OF THE OTHER WAY AROUND.   It helps if you think it is pretty too.  Some friends like planners that have a place for them to doodle or color.  I was never any good at coloring inside the lines on paper or off, so for me I need a planner that allows me to write lists.
    • TAKE OPPORTUNITIES TO CHANGE YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT.  This could be as simple as putting a diffuser or potted plant in your workspace, decorating with seasonal and/or holiday trinkets, or moving furniture around to make the workspace appear different.  This could also be changing up your setting (preschool groups to a high school setting, etc..) if you are feeling brave or have the opportunity. 
    • MOVE AROUND. If you find that you are spending the majority of the day sitting down, take the time to enjoy those brief walks down the hall to get kids or incorporate movement activities into your therapy.
    • TAKE MENTAL BREAKS. If you are fortunate to have a 5-10 minute break written into your schedule, shut down your work brain for that time.  If you are not that fortunate, then at least enjoy your break.  I am horrible about this.  For so many years, my lunch break consisted of my shoving food in my mouth while doing paperwork. I am actively taking my lunch break now.  Not only do I eat my lunch during this time but sometimes I even take a mental break by pulling out a book for enjoyment! 
    • SAY "NO" Do not volunteer past your capabilities.  Yes, do your job but if you can not handle taking on more than do not be the first one to jump out of their chair to sacrifice their health and sanity for the job. Be okay with saying 'no' when needed.  If you are burning the candle at both ends of the wick, you are not helping yourself or anyone else in the long run.

    How do you take care of yourself?  Do you have a hard time allowing yourself to engage in self-care at home and at work? What goal(s) for self-care do you have for 2020?  I would love to hear in the comments below! 

    "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare."   - Audre Lorde

    Want more great tips, tricks, and ideas for successful speech therapy?  Subscribe to our FREE newsletter, or visit us on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook.





    I can not believe that the Winter break is almost here! Does your school allow you to incorporate Winter holiday activities? I have had the opportunity to work at some schools that do not allow for Winter Holiday activities to take place, other schools that have big holiday programs, and another that took an inclusion approach by celebrating and embracing all Winter holidays. Therefore, you will definitely, need to know your school and what is allowed.

    To help us all make it through the last few weeks, I went in search of some fresh ideas to add to my therapy plans.  Best yet is that I found some great treats among Teachers Pay Teachers freebies!

    Now, go grab yourself a nice hot cup of cocoa (or mulled wine, apple cider, etc..) and your favorite holiday cookies because this list of freebies and the blog posts below will make the last weeks of planning that much easier!  Check out these ten Winter holiday-themed freebies I found!
    1. Hanukkah Cut and Paste Freebie by Practically Speeching - This freebie targets Hanukkah vocabulary and includes reinforcer pages using a menorah and a dreidel. 
    2. Christmas Open-Ended Games by Speech Therapy Plans - You can target following directions, articulation, vocabulary and more with this little packet of games.
    3. Winter 100 Trials Articulation Drill Sheets by Frugally Speaking SLP - This fun packet includes 8 different sheets to color while practicing drills. 
    4. Christmas Stocking Craft by Speech Sprouts - So much language can happen when making crafts!  To top it off, this craft pack also has vocabulary building opportunities and ST- blend drill cards. 
    5. Winter Holiday Sequencing by SpeechWise - This cute freebie includes two stories with 4-sequence cards per story. It also includes suggested questions for each story and writing prompts to expand on the ideas. 
    6.  No Prep Winter Language Freebie by Teach Speech 365 - This great freebie is jam-packed with language opportunities such as working on idioms, antonyms, wh-questions, describing, context clues, and more!
    7.  Winter Social Cues by Speech Me Maybe - This is an adorable way to target multiple pragmatic language skills such as using manners, interpreting emotions, inferencing, problem-solving, etc...
    8.  Winter Holiday Articulation Freebie for S, Z, R by Communication Window - This sweet treat includes word lists, a bingo game, and a word search. 
    9. Winter Inferencing Freebie by Splashy Speech Stuff - This can be printed as task cards (four to a page) to incorporate into a game or just as it is on a tablet.  
    10. Christmas themed Cariboo cards for Emotions by Mia McDaniel - This is just too cute for words! Not only does it contain the different emotions of Santa and the Gingerbread Man but it also contains questions as to why they may be feeling that way. 

    Looking for more FREE ideas?  Check out these blog posts!
    Snow Activities for Speech Therapy by Crazy Speech World - Super cute ideas to incorporate 'snow' into speech therapy.  It also includes how to make some good smelling snow for speech!
    Speech Igloos for Articulation by Crazy Speech World - Super simple but cute craft that kids can take home for carryover!
    Winter Speech Therapy Snowman Craft by Jen of Speech Therapy Plans - Super cute and easy!
    Winter Snowball Fight for Speech and Language Skills by Jen of Speech Therapy Plans - LOVE this idea!  Super easy to implement and use with mixed groups.

    I hope your last days leading up to Winter break are amazing and filled with the sweet success of your students making gains with their speech and language skills!  Happy (early) Holidays! Whatever you may celebrate!

    Do you know of any other amazing Winter Holiday Freebies?  If so, please share in the comments below!

    Want more great tips, tricks, and ideas for successful speech therapy?  Subscribe to our FREE newsletter, or visit us on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook.

    Winter will be hitting us soon!  Check out what I will be using for therapy starting in December.

    RESOURCES for MIXED GROUPS DURING WINTER:

    https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Find-Articulation-and-Follow-Directions-Speech-and-Language-Winter-3529473
    Find Articulation and Follow Directions: Winter
    FIND ARTICULATION and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS: WINTER is perfect for working with students with articulation, language, and fluency goals. This resource has hidden articulation words scattered around the picture that students look for using a magnifying glass. It also has 2-step temporal following directions, and lists of wh-questions for each picture scene.  Other suggestions on how you can use the pictured scenes to cover other goals is included.

    NO PREP SPEECH & LANGUAGE: WINTER is a definite GO TO resource!  I appreciate No Prep resources.  It makes planning so much easier. I can open up the PDF on my device or so that I do not even have to print it out or I can print out the pages that I need and go.  I use this resource to address articulation, language, and fluency goals. This resource and the next are great to incorporate into Speech & Language Stations!  Read more about Speech & Language Stations here!


    ARTICULATION RESOURCES FOR WINTER:
    https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Articulation-to-A-Maze-Winter-Edition-2255143
    Articulation to A-MAZE: Winter
    One articulation resource that my students enjoy and that helps them with their fine motor skills is my Articulation to A-MAZE: Winter.  The Occupational Therapists that I have worked with have appreciated having a resource that helps reinforce what they have been working on in therapy (pencil grip, manipulation, writing pressure, etc..)

    Check out my ARTICULATION QUILTS: WINTER if you are looking for an articulation project that not only addresses student' goals but that you can also post as a Speech Room bulletin board.

    FLUENCY RESOURCE FOR WINTER:
    My NO PRINT FLUENCY TASKS: WINTER resource targets goals for identifying facts vs. myths about stuttering, identifying bumpy vs. smooth speech, identify/explain/demonstrate different disfluent speech patterns and fluency shaping techniques and stuttering modification techniques, using techniques and strategies at all levels (word, phrase, sentence, spontaneous speech), and response to social situations.  I use the sentence and spontaneous speech level tasks with my students working on language.

    LANGUAGE RESOURCES FOR WINTER:
    https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Language-Builder-Winter-2176761
    Language Builders: Winter
    My LANGUAGE BUILDER: WINTER is a comprehensive packet covering so many different language needs! My language builder packs target basic vocabulary building, answering and asking questions, using inference skills, recalling sentences and details, describing, sentence building, and narrative building skills with barrier games!

    My NO PRINT LANGUAGE TASKS: WINTER uses colorful graphics and real pictures to target receptive identification in a field of three, answering yes/no and wh-questions, describing, inference, compare/contrast, and narrative building skills.

    PHONOLOGY RESOURCE FOR WINTER:
    My students love my NO PRINT PHONOLOGY TASKS: WINTER resource!  This comprehensive no print covers a variety of phonological processing errors using auditory bombardment list, auditory discrimination with minimal pairs, rhyming task, wh-questions, and creating a winter scene! This resource covers the following phonological processing error patterns: Postvocalic Voicing, Postvocalic Devoicing, Final Consonant Deletion, Fronting, Initial Consonant Deletion, Stopping of Affricates, Deaffrication, Consonant Cluster Reduction, and Gliding.

    You can see some of the books that I plan to use this season for literacy-based therapy too on my lesson plan. You can grab a copy of my Winter Lesson Plans by completing the information below!


    Books are magical!  They can teach new things and/or transport you to another time and place for an adventure. By the time students reach 3rd grade they have transitioned from learning to read to reading to learn.  Unfortunately, some students are at a disadvantage when it comes to reading to learn possibly due to a reading or language disorder or lack of exposure to books and opportunities to engage with literature. This is one of the many reasons that I love using literacy-based therapy! Using literacy-based therapy not only provides early and multiple opportunities to provide exposure to stories to our students but you can also save time with planning and target multiple goals!  Check out what areas you can target with literacy-based therapy.

    ARTICULATION:
    • phonemic awareness (play with rhyming, sound discrimination, initial/medial/final word placement)
    • phoneme production (isolation level)
    • word production level
    • sentence production level
    • reading level
    • spontaneous speech level (story recall, narrative for what happens next, answering/asking questions, etc..)
    TIP: Have extra copies of the book so students can read along with you and write down the words with their sound.  You can also provide students with a list of words with their sound from the story that they have to write on a separate piece of paper to take home and practice.  I encourage you to have them practice writing their own word list instead of handing them an already made list to take home. I have included some helpful planning sheets and a word list for your student.  Grab your free packet below.

    CHILDHOOD APRAXIA OF SPEECH:
    Use repetitive books to target specific sounds, syllable structures, and to empower students to communicate more frequently. Check out these blog posts for lists of repetitive books:

    LANGUAGE:
    • receptive identification and expressive labeling for basic semantics (nouns, verbs, pronouns, prepositions, etc..) and semantic features (function, location, description, category, etc..)
    • vocabulary building for antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, homophones
    • asking and answering yes/no and who, what, where, when, why, and how questions
    • auditory comprehension and following directions
    • inference skills and compare/contrast skills
    • sequencing and story retell, and building narration

    FLUENCY:
    • identification of fluent vs. disfluent speech
    • identification of different types of disfluent speech 
    • teaching and practicing fluency shaping strategies and stuttering modification techniques

    PRAGMATIC LANGUAGE:
    • identifying/determining inappropriate vs. appropriate actions
    • emotions
    • identifying and expressing body language, facial cues, and tone of voice
    • perspective taking for others
    • problem solving
    • identifying/determining appropriate social responses to situations

    Initial planning can take time in the beginning dependent upon how familiar you are with the story since you will need to spend time with each book to break down word lists, concepts covered, etc...  However, once you create a plan and file it away, you can use it year after year without any further planning.

    If you would like the literacy-based therapy planning pack, fill out the information below to grab your free copy.  The pack includes some helpful planning pages, links to find additional resources, and an articulation word list page for your students!



    Halloween is my favorite holiday!  Story time with books was definitely my first love as a kid!  Using books to provide speech therapy just makes sense to me. I have a lot of favorite books and I organize them by theme, season/holiday, sounds, language concepts, etc.. Check out why I love these Halloween books!

    The Spooky Wheels on the Bus by J. Elizabeth Mills
    SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters easily with this cute story!  Students can even practice carryover of their sounds (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) while singing the story back using the tune 'wheels on the bus'.

    LANGUAGE: Target identification and labeling of Halloween vocabulary, work on wh-questions and yes/no questions, and practice sequencing and story retell!

    Say Boo! by Lynda Graham-Barber
    SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) easily with this cute story about a little ghost that struggles to say boo! My kids always enjoy this story too since they can relate.

    LANGUAGE: Target vocabulary building for verbs such as howling, peering, mocked, bellowed, and mumbled. This is also a perfect book to target prepositions, wh-questions, and sequencing!

    In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting
    SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) easily with story about this family going to a haunted house.

    LANGUAGE: Target identification and labeling of Halloween vocabulary, semantic features (function/location) for common items, homophones such as their/there, answering wh-questions, and  story retell!

    If you do not want to have go through the books and make your own lists, I have created an easy cheat sheet for articulation words, language concepts to target, and some basic wh-questions you can ask for each book!  You can grab your free cheat sheet below.
    What are some of your favorite Halloween books to incorporate into your speech therapy lessons?  Please share with us below in the comments! Thanks!
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